director: lewis gilbert (educating rita)
starring: michael caine, shelley winters, jane asher and julia foster
REVIEWER: lyall carter
An unrepentant ladies' man gradually begins to understand the consequences of his lifestyle.
Set in postwar London, "Alfie" features Michael Caine as a chauffeur bent on promiscuity. After impregnating his girlfriend he takes off on vacation. He continues his life of womanizing, but he can't hide forever. A misfortune strikes and Alfie is forced to face the product of his ways.
Adapted from his stage play by Bill Naughton for the screen, Alfie is viewed now as a historical signpost captured in all of its celluloid glory of the British Swinging 60’s, the sexual revolution of the West.
And while it's clothed in heavy satire, Alfie is able to escape any sense of fluffy frivolity when the decisions that Alfie makes come back to haunt him. All of which is aided by the earthy and charming star turn of Michael Caine in a role that became as iconic and definitive as his role in The Italian Job.
Caine manages to make Alfie, who on paper appears to be a horrific narcissist, to be a likeable rogue with his cheeky wink and nod persona and directly speaking to the camera.
Not only a fun, and entertaining ride with a sobering moral message, Alfie is the icon it is mostly because of a star turn from Michael Caine.